The Feast of the Annunciation, falling in the middle of our Lenten struggle, reminds us that purity and holiness are not only possible, but also practical and powerful.
On the third Sunday of Great Lent, we venerate the Holy Cross of our Lord (more on that here), and our attention is drawn in the prescribed readings to shame (Mark 8:34-9:1) and weakness (Hebrews 4:15-5:6) and to the transformative and redemptive power of following our Lord by taking up our own cross in order to become true followers of Him.
Meditations on how the Church, like the Ark, helps to save us. We still need to stay in the boat, by living within the Way of Life that our spiritual forefathers received from God and built for us, but, as we do so, we find that we are not blown every which way by every wind and wave of doctrine: we find stability of life and thought as we grow up together into Him who is our Head.
Our Lord’s response to Peter’s query re how many times he should forgive his brother is an inverse echo of Lamech’s claim to vengeance – a connection I failed to note in this sermon, but one which undergirds the antidote noted.
- Genesis 4:16-26
- Proverbs 5:15-6:3
- “Go and Tell Him His Fault“
Fr. Tim of St. Nicholas and Demitrios Greek Orthodox Church very kindly invited me to give the homily for this year’s Sunday of Orthodoxy Pan-Orthodox Vespers… This was that homily, as originally recorded and published by Alexander Ovodov on YouTube.
This sermon actually brings up for me the question of context that was raised in our discussion about whether or not to begin this podcast. The comment that I make, partway through, that the ancestors of those present were “coming into a place that was empty of sacredness” was intending to draw a contrast between what was to them a land that as yet had no Orthodox Christian history, as opposed to the lands long-blessed with Christian saints and sites from which they had just come. Canada’s native spiritual traditions, or even the inherent sacredness of the land as a creation of God were not in view here.